Monday 17 Oct 2016
Step-free access at Ascot station moves another stage closer
Network Rail is taking the next step towards making Ascot station fully-accessible as its orange army is set to remove the existing bridge at the station over the weekend of 22 and 23 October ahead of the installation of the new footbridge by February 2017.
The investment will make the station fully accessible for the 1.2million passenger journeys through the station each year, and will mean passengers requiring step-free access will no longer need to use the barrow crossing at the station to change between platforms.
Work is already underway to extend platforms at Ascot to accommodate longer, 10-car trains.
The upgrade at Ascot is part of the £800 million Waterloo & South West Upgrade, the biggest package of improvements for passengers travelling on this railway for decades and will provide thousands more seats for passengers on trains between London Waterloo and Reading.
Stewart Firth, principal sponsor at Network Rail said, “As part of our Railway Upgrade Plan we’re making Ascot station fully-accessible by providing a new footbridge with lifts, and work has already started to extend the platforms to accommodate longer, 10-car trains giving passengers more space and better journeys.
“Before the new footbridge is installed early next year, passengers will still be able to access the platforms via the station subway, while passengers requiring step-free access to platforms 2 and 3 will be able to make use of free taxis to nearby stations with step-free access. I’d like to thank all passengers for their patience while we upgrade the station.”
Arthur Pretorius, Customer Service Director for South West Trains, said: “More than two-thirds of South West Trains passengers already travel through fully accessible stations and this investment at Ascot will provide step free travel for even more passengers when it opens early next year.
“Meanwhile, the work to extend the platforms will allow longer trains to run between London Waterloo and Reading as part of the Waterloo & South West Upgrade, providing thousands more seats for passengers.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
Ascot is one of ten stations that will benefit from longer platforms, which will allow ten-car trains to operate, rather than just the current eight-car services, providing more space for passengers. The new footbridge will be installed by February 2017, and the platform extensions are due to complete by the end of March 2017. The new, longer services will be introduced in summer 2017.
The Waterloo and South West Upgrade is an investment of more than £800million, delivered by Network Rail and South West Trains, in partnership with the Department for Transport. In addition to the works to extend platforms between London and Reading, it also includes:
- Rebuilding the former International terminal at London Waterloo to provide five additional platforms for domestic passengers.
- Extending platforms 1-4 at London Waterloo to allow longer 10-car trains to run on Suburban routes.
- A fleet of brand new trains, providing 150 additional carriages.
- New technology to make trains more efficient and improve punctuality.
- Improvements to depots and maintenance facilities to look after the network’s biggest ever fleet of trains.
Advice for passengers requiring step-free access
This work to extend the platforms has already required the closure of the ‘barrow’ crossing which previously provided the only step-free access to platforms 2 and 3, and could only be used with the assistance of staff. As a result passengers were previously advised to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to departure to receive assistance to use the crossing.
During the work however, passengers requiring step-free access to platforms 2 and 3 are being provided with a free taxi from Ascot station to the nearest station with step-free access, depending on which will be most convenient for their onward journey.
The following diversions are therefore currently in place for passengers requiring step-free access to platforms 2 and 3 at Ascot station:
Passengers travelling from Ascot:
- Passengers travelling from Ascot to London still have step-free access to platform 1.
- Passengers travelling from Ascot towards Reading will be provided with a taxi to either Bracknell or Wokingham.
- Passengers travelling from Ascot towards Aldershot or Guildford will be provided with a taxi to Aldershot, or the most convenient station in between.
Passengers travelling to Ascot:
- Passengers travelling to Ascot on services from London should alight at Staines where taxis will be provided to Ascot.
- Passengers travelling to Ascot on services from Reading will be able to alight at Ascot station with step-free access provided the train is using platform 1. If the train is using a different platform an announcement will be made advising passengers who require step-free access to alight at either Wokingham or Bracknell where a taxi will be provided for their onward journey.
- Passengers travelling to Ascot from Aldershot will be provided with a taxi, and those from Guildford should alight at Aldershot for a taxi.
- Passengers travelling to Ascot from the Camberley branch line can obtain a taxi by calling the South West Trains Assisted Travel Team on 0800 52 82 100 (freephone) or 0800 6920 792, or use the assisted travel booking form online at www.southwesttrains.co.uk/contact--help/contact-us/assisted-travel-form/
Passengers who would normally change trains at Ascot:
- Passengers requiring step-free access who would normally change at Ascot should alight at Staines, Bracknell, Wokingham or Aldershot for a taxi to the next convenient station with step-free access on their journey.
Passenger information is also available on southwesttrains.co.uk
About Network Rail
Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 38,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.
About the Railway Upgrade Plan
The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:
- longer, faster more frequent trains;
- better, more reliable infrastructure; and
- better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.